Dreaming of Berlin

In which I dream of Berlin

10 Must Sees in Berlin

Since my jaunts in China and now New Zealand, you’ll find me discussing places that I’d like to go to in Europe, as well as reminiscing about places that I’ve already been to and would like to go back to. I also love looking at all the hotels I could possibly visit at Venere.

Today, this is Berlin.

I went when I was living in Germany on my Year Abroad and maybe because of this, I found it a much more interesting and friendlier place than Paris that I’d visited the year before, with the same companion. Maybe it was because of my vague grasp of the language that made Berlin so magical for me, maybe it was the attractions that we visited, but it was a great week.   Here are 10 recommendations for any visit to Berlin.

1.      The TV Tower – I’m a big lover of getting to the top of the tallest building in any city and the Berlin TV Tower is no exception. It’s a striking part of the Berlin skyline and offers great views from the top. If you’re feeling special, book a table at the revolving restaurant at the top too, for authentic German cuisine in a relaxed setting with a great view.

Berlin TV Tower

2.      Berlin Zoo – I am a massive zoo fan. I cannot visit a city with a zoo without visiting the zoo itself. Berlin Zoological Garden is very well laid out and was home to the famous polar bear, Knut, who died in 2011, after famously being the first polar bear to survive infancy at Berlin Zoo in over 30 years.

Polar bear Berlin Zoo

3.      The Reichstag – no trip is complete without a visit to the German Parliament building. They have created a fantastic glass dome where the city can be viewed, whilst also viewing the parliamentary seats. Although it’s not possible to visit whilst parliament is in session, the visit is free and open most of the day. They have a booking system which you can use to book your visit up to 2 days in advance.

Reichstag, Berlin

4.      Brandenburger Tor (Brandenburg Gate) – Synonymous with any postcard of Berlin, you have to get an obligatory shot standing in front of it. First construction started in 1788 and was finished 3 years later and during separated Berlin, the Brandenburg Gate was inaccessible to either side. The gate was restored in early 2000s and continues today to be one of the most famous landmarks of unity and peace in Europe.

Brandenburg Gate, Berlin

5.      The Holocaust Memorial – The Memorial to the Murdered Jews of Europe is a striking memorial, just around the corner from the Brandenburg Gate. 2,711 dark concrete slabs are arranged in grid formation with various heights on a sloped area. You can walk in between all the slabs, which gives almost a sense of disorientation. There is also a Place of Information underneath the memorial, with the names of all known Jewish Holocaust victims.

Holocaust memorial, Berlin

6.      DDR Museum – With so much modern history surrounding Germany and Berlin, the DDR is an interesting museum dedicated to the more little known facts about everyday life before the fall of the Berlin Wall. There are many artifacts in the museum, including the famous Trabi car, which became synonymous with the DDR.

Trabi, Berlin DDR Museum

7.      Museum Island – Home to five world-renowned museums in Berlin, including the Pergamon, Bode, Neues, Alte Nationalgalerie and Altes Museum, the area is classed as UNESCO World Heritage and set in the middle of the Spree river.

Museum island Berlin

8.      Ampelmann Shop (Karl-Liebknecht-Straße 5, 10178 Berlin) – When in Berlin, you’ll notice that the green men at the pedestrian lights are different to ones that you’ll see at home. These are locally known as “Ampelmännchen” and are a Berlin icon. It’s definitely worth getting a souvenir, or at least, having your picture taken with the giant one outside!

Ampelmann shop, Berlin

9.      Checkpoint Charlie – One of the most historical sites of Berlin, you can stand on the divide between the old East and West Berlin. There is a small museum here describing the history of the checkpoint as the “best border security system in the world,” as well as an open-air exhibit informing of escape attempts and expansion.

Checkpoint Charlie, Berlin

10.  The Berlin Wall – There are pieces of the wall dotted all over the city, with a few longer sections still standing. There is a Berlin Wall Trail you can follow to cover the 160km in sections at your leisure. There are also metal plaques and double cobblestones in some areas of the city showing where the wall used to stand, wherever it is possible.

Berlin Wall

What are you waiting for? Take a trip to Berlin!

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Author: Bennett

2 years as an expat in China and now doing the same in New Zealand, Bennett sure likes to experience "slow travel!"

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6 Comments

  1. The DDR Museum looks interesting, as does the Berlin Wall trail. It’s good to know that there’s still enough of it intact to take in the history.

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    • The DDR *is* awesome, likewise the Berlin Wall – especially as it’s preserved in some of the original sections.

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  2. Great post about Berlin. If you love getting on top of the tallest buildings of a city, you should definitely consider visiting the top of Burj Khalifa in Dubai. I did that in October 2012 and liked it so much that I revisited the top of Burj Khalifa when flying to Beijing for the first time in April 2013. I have been up there during both, day and night. You can purchase your tickets ahead a couple of days before through their website, and you should do so as they are quickly sold out, especially for the popular hours around sunset.

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    • The Burj Khalifa is definitely on my list of tall buildings, as well as the new Shanghai Tower which has been finished recently 😀

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  3. I miss Berlin so much and I’d go there right now if I had the chance without even thinking about it too long. I’ve been to Berlin 3 times now and I can never get bored of it, I love it! 🙂

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    • I’ve only been once, Franca, but would love to go again and especially in the winter time for the markets, I love German Christmas Markets!

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